kept (adj).

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Do you love me yet or
have I let you? You keep
arriving to me, calling me back
from the muddy sea where
my mind has stayed.  

Do you love me yet or
have I let you? I keep
myself tucked away, hidden
in a half state, and half-
light, for fear you might
flinch with all of this
softness in the morning sun.

Do you love me yet or
have I let you? You keep
recounting your contentment
and I keep
finding ways to
fold myself away
like sheets folded
in a bulky chest.

timbre (n).

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In case you wondered, I do
say your name
in the sinking midnight
in the hurry of my morning
in the moments I am busy being happy
in the holy and the hollow
in the eyes of strangers
in the triumph of who I am becoming
in the quiet coffee shop corners
and into the peel of my old fashioned,
on the off chance
you can hear me say it.

vocation (n).

As I sit here, floundering, since, oh,
these are just words, and I am just
a girl who is tired often, and
what even is important,

there are birds, meanwhile
singing,
no bigger than
the palm of my hand,
concerned not with audience or reach,
concerned not with chorus or choir,
concerned only
with the song that swells
and the note that comes next.  

Posted on February 11, 2019 and filed under the word project-.

dispatch (n).

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I was envisioning sending out
a grand report of this glittery
new life I am supposed to be living but
everything has been quite prickly, like a
cranky wool sweater; I haven’t known
what to say. How do I tell you about
this city that smells like eucalyptus and
the lump in my throat that hasn’t
yet gone away, the people and their
heads full of codes and connections who
take scooters to work, the thrill of skipping
winter entirely, the growing list
of all the things I don’t know, and
the moments I catch myself thinking: when
is it going to start? And then
I have to point out: this is me, living.

How do I tell you about all of the questioning
and all of the awareness and
all of the unknowns that come with
trying to figure out how much the bus costs or where
to buy a decent sandwich, not to mention
all of the questioning and
all of the awareness and all
of the unknowns like why
did I come here and what
am I to do?

placement (n).

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You are here
in this body that carries you,
the one you may battle or the one
you have made peace with,
in whatever folds and creases you curse or bless,
in the structure that holds and lifts you,
in the skin that blushes and shivers,
in the lungs that fill you with breath, you are here.

You are here
in the morning light, however it wakes you
in the day that unfolds at your feet
in all of the things you make happen and all of the things
that happen to you
in all of the places of wandering and intention,
in all of the stickiness and all of the clarity, you are here.  

You are here
in the gratitude that swells and in the waves of longing
in the things that you hope to keep and
in the things you wish to be different,
in the place you feel stuck and the
thoughts you wander to that give you flight, you are here.

gather (v).

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Even as I bring nothing with me
even as you have your own fears lingering
even as I don’t know what to do next
even as you wake from dreams that startle you
even as I leave the city I’ve known
even as you concede your whole world to me,
off we go, towards each other.

[Photo by Max Wanger].

slough (v).

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I relate to the trees at this time of year,
the way they are spilling and shedding;
what a grand spectacle they make out of
the act of letting go. They do it not
with floods but fire, they do it not
quietly but in a chorus of rustling, they do it not
swiftly, rather one branch at a time,
releasing, setting it down, laying to rest
anything that no longer serves them.

redirect (v).

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I’m not sure what I dream about anymore –
there is the song, written and then forgotten,
there is the matter of home, wherever that is,
there is the love that I was banking on, and he
found a life in another land.  

Where does it come from, the new vision,
and how will it arrive?

I have sat at the altar and prayed.
I have dyed my hands in ink and waited
in the meantime for the muse.
I have built a home within myself.
I have, in the meantime, loved others.
I have filled my body with straw and string
ready to turn to fire at any time.

memo (n).

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I know that currently it feels like
even the air doesn’t belong
to you but know that
every corner of the world
is yours, every
dream that catches
your eye and lights
your spirit, they belong,
just as your thumb
and its print are yours,
just as
the love you
hope for
has been there waiting since
your very first breath.

fluent (adj).

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I try to write and can’t, it’s stuck
below the rock in my stomach and
the pebbles that line my throat and
the sand that fills my head.

I look out to the trees for some kind of truth.
I look out to my neighbours walking and wonder
if they have more answers than I do.
I look down into my coffee cup and appreciate
its loyalty and powers. I look to my mother
and ask if I’m doing the right thing. I look to
my hands and ask them to write anyway.

locked (adj).

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I worry I might get stuck in the place
that I go where the impossibilities
build a casing around me and the choir
of my doubt drowns out the sound of reason.

You catch it often, I get there in a flash
with the tilt of my head and the crease
in my brow and you say where did you go and
how can I get you back?

Keep calling, I want to be back
in the land of the living and back
in the golden hour of your love.